Pregnancy Use

Clinical studies suggest that it is safe to use after the first trimester, although it is prudent to ensure close professional supervision.

PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Raspberry leaves have been traditionally used to prepare the uterus for childbirth, with some modern research suggesting it may be useful.

• When used in this way, it is often combined with other herbs and used during the last 6-8 weeks of pregnancy while under close supervision.

• Raspberry leaves are high in tannins, which may make them useful as a mouthwash and to treat diarrhoea, although this has not been confirmed in clinical trials.

• As tannins may reduce the absorption of other substances, it is recommended to take raspberry leaf preparations separately from other medications. Raspberry leaf preparations can be considered safe and non-toxic.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this herb do for me?

Raspberry leaf preparations have been used since ancient times to prepare the uterus for birth in an attempt to facilitate a complication-free labour. It is also used to treat diarrhoea and dyspeptic complaints, and incorporated into a mouthwash to reduce inflammation of the mouth and throat. When will it start to work?

Currently, there is insufficient research to answer this question. However, it is used in increasing doses during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Symptomatic relief of > 2007 Elsevier Australia

diarrhoea and inflammation of the oral cavity is likely to occur within the first few doses.

Are there any safety issues?

Considering raspberry leaf has uterine activity, it is recommended that pregnant women wanting to use it do so under the careful supervision of an experienced healthcare professional.

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